Disentangling risk assessment: new roles for
experts and publics
Sarah Hartley, Adam Kokotovich
Risk assessment is an important stage of risk governance, alongside
risk characterisation, risk evaluation and risk management. A burgeoning literature on public involvement in risk governance and sciencebased policymaking more broadly has developed in response to tensions
in governing environmental risk, particularly the environmental risks
posed by emergingtechnologies (Irwin, 2014; Levidow, 2007; Renn
and Schweizer, 2009; Rothstein, 2013; Wynne, 2006). However
UK and Swiss initiatives to open up animal laboratory research
Carmen M. McLeod
de Saille, S. (2015). Dis-inviting the unruly public. Science as Culture, 24(1),
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Dodds, S. (2013). Trust, accountability and participation. In K. O’Doherty and
E. Einsiedel (eds), Public Engagement and EmergingTechnologies. Vancouver
and Toronto: UBC Press.
ECEAE (2010). Eurobarometer survey shows public concern on animal testing.
European Coalition to End Animal Experiments
Sujatha Raman, Pru Hobson-West, Mimi E. Lam, and Kate Millar
(Brown and Guston,
2009). If diversity is a criterion of science as a public good (Callon,
1994), then the market fails as a mechanism for achieving this good,
as it prioritises only what elites say we ought to want (Jones, 2013).
Public engagement, properly understood and devised, might stimulate
discussion not just of the merits of one research area, but the wider
question of what kinds of research and innovation are needed to fulfil
the public interest (Jones, 2013). For example, Hartley et al. (2016)
argue that to properly assess the merits of an emerging
Distinguishing capacity-restoring and capacity-increasing technologies
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autonomous in nature and
have the ability to ‘live their own lives’, form syntheses of all kinds and
even engender new representations.
It is important to do justice to the compelling and (often) ambivalent
nature of collective ideation or imagery in a globalised world where
emergingtechnologies ensure that images and representations can be
transferred at incredible speed. The significance of new forms of
communication has combined with a number of developing traditions
in the social and human sciences to ensure the increased significance of
the question of collective